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Point of Veau: Let's Hope Mike Daniels' Threats of Off-Field Violence Are Figurative

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Point of Veau: Let's Hope Mike Daniels' Threats of Off-Field Violence Are Figurative

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels went on a rant following minicamp practice on Tuesday, answering reporters' questions by saying the team's defense needs to get tougher and meaner.

After watching the Packers finish 25th in overall defense last season, Daniels certainly has a point. There were no shortage of instances when the Packers got burned both on the ground and through the air duirng the 2013 season.

A stouter effort against the run and a more relentless pass rush would help solve a lot of the Packers' many defensive woes.

But some of Daniels' comments on Tuesday were troubling if taken at face value.

"I think that's been our biggest problem on defense, so I'm personally going to take that, make that my job to get the best out of everybody," said Daniels. "I don't care if I have to hit somebody before we go out on the field."

Why is Daniels threatening violence before the Packers take the field?

By all means, if Daniels wants to be a leader by example on the gridiron and be the hardest hitter on the team, show everyone how it's done, feel free. This Packers team sorely needs more of that.

But as far as hitting a teammate before they go on the field, there's no place for that in the game of football or society in general.

If it was a solitary comment that Daniels made, one might argue that he's being taken out of context. The defensive lineman, however, followed up by making another unfortunate comment.

Speaking of his leadership, Daniels said, "I'm very comfortable. If something needs to be said, I'm going to say it, and if someone has a problem with it, we're grown men. We play a violent game. We get paid to be violent, so why not? If you deck somebody in the locker room, because you have a disagreement, there's not going to be any sensitivity training. There's not going to be any… It's a barbaric sport, so that's how you're going to have to approach it. I'm tired of getting our face punched in by other teams. I'm not used to that."

Again, there's nothing wrong with Daniels' sentiment of wanting to be a vocal leader and not wanting to be "punched in the face" by another team, obviously a figurative statement in a sport that enforces the use of facemasks.

But why is Daniels discussing "decking somebody in the locker room"?

Cold cocking someone is not the answer. Unprovoked aggression is never the answer. Vioence only begets more violence.

To be fair, Daniels has never acted upon such words, or if he has, it's gone unreported.

If the lack of "meanness" or "nastiness" is really and truly a problem in Green Bay, this is less a problem that needs solving by Daniels and more of an issue to be addressed by the coaching staff and front office.

The coaching staff needs to let Daniels know that it's not okay to take matters into his own hands outside the lines.

But the coaches also have to look in the mirror and address it themselves. They need to demand a physical brand of football. And their actions must match their words.

If a player is not giving an effort, he should be replaced, benched, or more drastic actions need to take place.

If the Packers are keeping players on their roster that don't have the aggressiveness or mentality to play a brutal game, then they shouldn't be drafted or signed to begin with. Or they should be cut, released, or traded, whatever method works for parting ways with them.

This is the answer to the problem, if there indeed is a problem.

Daniels is young, fiery, and committed to his profession. His passion is unquestioned. As the team leader in sacks among defensive linemen last season, his contributions are important to team success.

But tone down the rhetoric of off-field violence, Mike.

The Packers don't need another Charles Martin bodyslamming a Bears quarterback after the whistle. They need someone to sack Jay Cutler between the whistles.

Daniels has the ability to provide that.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

Photo: Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels sacks Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (53) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nikko Manamikko's picture

Is it at least ok if he randomly punches BJ Raji before a game?

real some guy's picture

Brian, do you really think there is a chance that MD is going to hurt a teammate in the locker room?

3rdigraphics's picture

Let's hope that Nick Perry stays away from Mike Daniels in the locker room...that might get ugly based on MD's comments.

JimTaylor31's picture

What is up with Nick Perry? My hopes are fading with Perry. I'm starting to think he may be another great athlete who just isn't much of a football player. Daniels is correct that some of these guys may not cut the mustard when it comes to just being tough enough for the NFL. Hope I'm wrong about Perry but this is really a huge year for him to stay on the field and show something.

Oppy's picture

Nick Perry had 9 total tackles, 3 Sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in the 2 weeks before his injury (weeks 5 &6).

The kid can play football. He needs to stay healthy. If he can do so, he could be a beast.

Outside of the stat sheet, people should actually watch Perry play. He has shown many good things on tape, even when he's not making the play. He's just got to stay healthy.

TedTheSledge's picture

Any time the comparison of what goes on in the NFL to what is good for general "society" is made, the NFL comes out the loser. General society does it's best to eliminate competitive nature, and male behavior in general, and has brought us the age of the participation trophy. I know the media in general loves pushing the societal angle (Jonathon martin, Micheal Sam) above all other sports stories, but does it really have to be interjected constantly? Who cares more about it, sports writers or the NFL fans that support them?

Clay's picture

Love your work Brian but respectfully disagree.

I am just too damn jaded by the viral political correctness sweeping our society.

To whit: Don Sterling...evil bigot? Maybe. But last I checked I though in the U.S.A we could say what we want in the comfort of our own home without being forever branded with a Scarlet Letter, become a perpetual outcast of society, and having our livelihood stripped from us (yes I know Don will still have food on the table).

Another example; the Redskins may have to forfeit their name. So our Government is morally stepping up after taking the land of Native Americans, committing genocide against them, and plopping them on reservations where they can sit and watch white people commit debauchery en casinos? What a joke. Changing the Redskins name makes up for all that, yes sir.

Sorry for the rant, but please just stop the madness regarding speech and back off my boy Mike Daniels.

Wow Brian imagine if you heard what these guys actually say when the media isn't in the locker room!!!!!

"If my though dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine" -Bob Dylan

Evan's picture

The only thing I'll say to all that is changing the Redskins name (which I favor) has nothing to do with "making up for" the past genocide and other atrocities.

Evan's picture

I'm not really interested in arguing about this on the internet -- it's a moot point anyway, as a change will come sooner or later -- but I will say that "the name "Redskins" wasn't meant to be derogatory when it was adopted as the name" is pure nonsense.

"Redskin" denotes nothing about their bravery or spirit. You could argue that for the Warriors or the Braves, but not Redskins.

Clay's picture

Agree Stroh although I understand the name is a bit outdated.

My question for those who think it is offensive is why on earth would a team give itself a name that belittles the team and is regarded as a joke?

Marquette was pretty awesome as the "Warriors" ;)

Evan's picture

Because the owner at the time was a devout racist, maybe?

Clay's picture

I was kinda being sarcastic. The point is that Native Americans live in shameful poverty in this country after we destroyed their culture and stole their land. But "out of sight out of mind". It's not something the average American pays much attention too. Changing the Redskins name does nothing about the real situation the native people of this country face, most of whom could care less about the name of the the Washington football team. If anything it makes us feel slightly better about ourselves and scores some political points for whoever is leading that charge.

So to my point, we get all wrapped up in words and speech, instead of focusing on action.

Evan's picture

Okay, yeah, I think that's fair.

JimTaylor31's picture

Well said. Seems like this whole PC obsession is based more on people feeling good about themselves and not so much about actually doing anything to fix a problem. Think about it. Whether it's changing the name of the "Redskins", not baking a wedding cake for a gay couple or whatever, it boils down to making some folks feel good about themselves for taking a stand on something that they don't have to do a damn thing about. Just an easy way out for mostly liberals IMHO to say they care. It's true that Europeans (not "us") took their land and destroyed their culture. But the Native Americans were taking land from Native Americans and destroying cultures long before "we" ever showed up. Just the way people roll. Have rolled that way forever. The strongest take from the weakest.

Clay's picture

Amen Jim.

MarkinMadison's picture

The idea that "Redskins" was not offensive at one time - to the people who got slapped with the label - is crap. Talk to some native americans, and you'll find that they ARE sensitive to a lot of phrases that I grew up commonly using, and still occasionally use, like "off the reservation" and "circle the wagons" etc. Just because it is not offensive to you or me does not mean that it is not offensive to them. And it is not offensive to them becuase some liberal idiot told them to be offended, it is offensive to them because they find it degrading.

As far as "Europans (not 'us') took their land" that's fine if you take a look at your family tree and say that it had nothing to do with you. Personally, my German family homesteaded in Iowa on some of the best farm land on the planet that they got for next to nothing (the first "welfare" program) because the U.S. Government systematically starved out and then by force drove out the tribes. And we got very wealthy off of it. I find it hard to believe that most people living in the midwest now couldn't dig a little in the family tree and find a similar experience. Maybe some made more money than others, but we all made our money off of the land taken. And if 'that's the way it is' is your justification for genocide and land-grabbing, then I really don't know what to say to you, other than go talk to your pastor.

Clay's picture

Correction, "If my THOUGHT dreams could be seen...."

You get the idea.

ballark's picture

This is a guy saying to his teammates: "No more bullshit." As probably the hardest worker on the defense (and maybe the whole team), Daniels is justified in assuming that alpha role. And saying, in essence, get behind me and get on board--or we're going to have a big problem (me, punching you in the face).....I absolutely love this.

The day this defense starts playing with that edge, and starts bleeding for their teammates in the huddle, that's when we'll see a different result in Green Bay. We've been too soft for too long.

Big Moe's picture

Oh yeah!

PackerAaron's picture

Nice post Brian. I disagree with pretty much everything here, but I enjoyed reading it. :)

real some guy's picture

ditto. always enjoy Brian's posts. just found this one odd.

Evan's picture

I love that Daniels is stepping up as a fiery, vocal leader like this. Sorely needed.

To your comment "Violence only begets more violence." I think that's Daniels' whole idea. His violence will fire up his teammates to go and kick some ass. Get the adrenaline going.

That said, I think this is all much ado about nothing. I don't think Daniels would ever seriously attack a teammate.

ballark's picture

Well said, Cow.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm not going to get in the middle of this whole Redskins thing, but why is it now that they are offended with the name? I'm not saying the name is right or wrong, i'm just asking why is it all of a sudden a huge issue?

They have been the Redskins since 1932. 82 years they have been known as that. Why is it now that its a problem?

That is my only thought on the whole name change.

Clay's picture

I am offended by your name, Cow.

Evan's picture

I'd also add that it's hardly just becoming an issue now.

I know there was at least efforts to change the Redskins name in the early 90s as well. And teams were ditching the Indian-themed nicknames in the 60s, 70s and 80s. So it's been an issue for a long time.

It has gained a lot of momentum and media attention lately, for whatever reasons.

Oppy's picture

How about the near 200 years that white people didn't think the "N word" was in any way derogatory?

Does that mean there was never anything derogatory about that term?

Oppy's picture

Where is this information on the term "Redskin" being about bravery and spirit coming from? From the Redskins NFL franchise? It can be argued that the term "Redskin" was neutral in intent originally- describing Native Americans whom often used ochre for face/body paint.- at best. Since then, it has developed a negative connotation through its general usage.

For the record, the big "N word" actually WAS a neutral term originally: "The word originated as a neutral term referring to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger ("color black")". Guess how it became such horrible word? The way it was implemented in general usage.

Guess what other word was neutral originally until general usage put a negative spin on it? Polack. In fact, it's pretty much the identical word to the POLISH word for a man who's Polish.

See how this works? Words' meanings can change with usage.

Going on about how non-offensive and proud a term Red Skin is simply makes you look like an ignorant, arrogant twit. Here's a good rule of thumb: If you're not willing to walk up to a stranger on the street of a certain nationality or ethnic group, and call them by a certain moniker- it's probably offensive.

I'm betting you're not walking up to any Native Americans anytime soon and referring to them as 'Redskins' to their face.

RCPackerFan's picture

I know it has been an issue for a while. A lot of high schools have been changing their names for a while.

My question though, is why is it now a huge issue? 2 years ago we didn't hear anything about it. What happened that made it the huge topic now?

Again, i'm not saying I'm for or against changing the name or anything, I just am wondering what made it so big right now?

Evan's picture

Oh, that I don't really know.

If forced to guess a reason, I'd say the rise in social media has made it easier for causes like this to gain momentum.

MarkinMadison's picture

Why do you assume that this is a recent issue? In many states Native Americans were not even allowed to vote in elections until 1970. They are one of the smallest minorities in this country. Until they started getting gambling money they had absolutely no political leverage at all. And really, when you're starving, and when the government continues to alter treaties and take your land (e.g. the Black Hills) at will, I think offensive names and logos are going to be pretty far down on your list of priorities.

Clay's picture

You are right Stroh, and it's to my point.

We have a bunch of white people (Rachel Maddow MSNBC types) who take up this crusade without knowing what Native Americans really feel on the matter. Opinions are split in their community.

Cow God bless but you are wrong. There is no unified agreement on this topic amongst Native tribes. There are some activists from the tribes who want the name changed of course.

But to my point...don't you think the fact that there have been no reparations for the stealing of their land and genocide of their culture and people is a bigger issue???

But no, that issue will NEVER be addressed. The Crazy Horse monument doesn't even have enough funding to be finished.

But yea if it makes you feel like you accomplished something, go ahead and change the name.

Alcoholism, poverty, lack of education, and loss of culture will still continue everyday on the reservations.

Evan's picture

"The simple fact of the matter is that any name that is in any way descriptive of a population is eventually carry a negative connotation even when none is meant."

I honestly have no idea where you get this nonsense from.

Oppy's picture

Oneida Nation seems to have decided they're not a huge fan.

Bear's picture

Brian, Love to read your articles.............but this one makes you appear clueless!

Tarynfor12's picture

Nothing wrong in calling out those who are and were thought higher of you and are not getting it done.

cpitt's picture

Stop with making everything PC. Obviously he isn't speaking literally. Football is violent, as it should be. Violence helps you win and it's in our nature. That why football is the most popular sport in our country.

All the beta male sports writers need to stop forcing their wimpass 'the world needs to be fair' and 'everyone needs to be nice and pc' bs down our throats.

You want to be the best, you take it by force. Its the way nature has always been and always will be despite how the fear slogged wave of group think wants us to think it is.

Clay's picture

Never did and article bring us all together so much!!!!


(I have NEVER written lmafao!!)

Thank you Brian!


Clay's picture

Oops, "an article". I kan spel!

WisconsinRob's picture

It's an interesting take. I'm not sure I entirely agree with Brian here (IMO, his point here is taken too literal). But I've also been on the side of the Packers defense being A) too soft and B) lacking obvious leadership on the field. I think this is a good precursor for both.

I go back to the NBA playoffs in 2013, and Greg Popovich asking the Spurs to "Give him some nasty." I just feel like this is what Daniels is asking from the rest of his defense. In my opinion, it's needed, too.

4thand1's picture

Now kick Goodell in the nuts and fire up this defense. This is good all the way around. If a player is playing soft, call him out.

Oppy's picture

" Violence only begets more violence."

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what Mike Daniels has in mind, Brian.


BradHTX's picture

met·a·phor noun. \ˈme-tə-ˌfȯr also -fər\
: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly : figurative language

zeke's picture

Your seed of logic will find no purchase in this soil.

BradHTX's picture

Is that a "Raising Arizona" reference?

zeke's picture

Winner winner chicken... something

MarkinMadison's picture

I'm split. On the one hand, I like the sentiment that Daniels is expressing. On the other hand, playing on emotion only gets you so far, especially with the league clamping down on excess violence as much as they can. Saying things like this to the media is more likely to get Daniels labeled as the next Suh, and to get him fined or suspended, than it is likely to make any difference on the scoreboard.

Evan's picture


@TheOnion · In Focus: Redskins’ Kike Owner Refuses To Change Team’s Offensive Name

Also, I'm sure this newspaper excerpt from 1863 was honoring the Native American's bravery and spirit when it said the state will pay "$200 for every red-skin sent to purgatory."

Jordan's picture

The Packers need to be more violent (on the field). I'm fine with what Daniels said.

If any of the defensive players aren't playing violently all 4 quarters this year, they need to be benched.

Seattle showed the world what happens when you play violent defense for 4 quarters against the NFL's best offense.

Otto's picture

This reminds me of a story Bill Curry told about the Baltimore Colts middle linebacker Mike Curtis. Curtis got up in a team meeting and threatened to beat up anyone who didn't give their best effort in the final six games of the season (3 regular season, 3 playoffs). They won the Super Bowl.

I am completely ok with what Mike D said. I'm ok with it if he acts on it. BUT, I think this should have been said in the meeting room and not to the press. I would believe (and respect) him more if someone else on the team leaked it to the press that he had said this in a meeting.

Otto's picture

"But as far as hitting a teammate before they go on the field, there's no place for that in the game of football or society in general."

"Cold cocking someone is not the answer. Unprovoked aggression is never the answer. Vioence only begets more violence."

Seriously? You're familiar with the sport of football, right?

"The more violent team wins." -Mike Tomlin

In spite of Roger Goodell's efforts to emasculate the sport, it remains (for the time being, at least) an alpha-male, violent sport.
The great players in football (Butkus, Nitschke, Bednarik, Ray Lewis, etc.) were great because they were the most violent men on the field. Do your homework, that switch didn't get turned off when they left the field.

If what Mike D said has you riled up, maybe you should cover knitting competitions.

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